One of seven divisional matchups this week, and for this one, we head to the NFC North as the playoff-chasing Vikings travel to Detroit to take on the winless Lions. Can Detroit, without arguably their best player in D’Andre Swift, get their first win of the season, or will the Vikings get themselves back to .500?
Whilst these teams don’t have much in common this season there are a couple of things that stand out for this matchup. Firstly, both teams will be without their #1 RB as both the aforementioned Swift and Dalvin Cook will both be missing through injury. Secondly, is how poor both of these sides are at stopping the run. Minnesota ranks 30th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game, whilst the Lions are only one place and one yard better, ranking 29th and allowing 133 yards on the ground per game. This bodes well for two backup RBs who will be keen to show what they can do when featured. Alexander Mattison will replace Dalvin Cook for the Vikings, as he has done twice already this season (once being against Detroit in Week 5) both times Mattison ran for over 110 yards, and I expect similar production from him here. For Detroit, it’ll be veteran Jamaal Williams taking over for the injured Swift. Williams had 65 yards on a season-high of only 15 carries in the Thanksgiving Day loss to the Chicago Bears, this marked three straight games in which Detroit’s leading back has had over 60 yards on the ground (Swift broke 130 yards in both of his games before getting hurt) and I think Williams has a great chance to do so again against a bottom-3 run defense.
Spread: Vikings -7.5
Game Prediction: Vikings 30-21 Lions
Best Bet: Vikings to win outright, Alexander Mattison over 80.5 rushing yards and Jamaal Williams over 59.5 rushing yards @ 9/2 with Bet365 Bet Builder. [0.5]